I decided several months ago that the best birthday present I could give myself was a vacation spent writing.  I imagined it would be a short simulation to help me answer some questions.  How productive could I be?  Would I come up with some good ideas that bore fruit?  Would writing seem like a chore after several days and make me wonder about my aspirations?  Would it leave me energized and craving more time spent writing, perhaps prompting me to consider some life changes to allow me to pursue my ambitions?

My birthday came and went, but the idea stuck.  I put it off, mostly due to projects at work that I thought would distract me if left unfinished.  Now it’s here.  Starting tomorrow, I will have seven days off in a row.  No more wishing for time to work on projects normally relegated to my lunch breaks.  No more excuses.  Here are my plans, writing and otherwise, for the upcoming week.
Since I’ve increased my amount of daily exercise, I’ve had less time to write in the evenings after work.  While the exercise is important, and should have been undertaken long ago, the time it consumes has frustrated me.  Rather than decrease my exercise, I’ll be adding a short core conditioning workout.  I downloaded an exercise app called CARROT, which guides me through calisthenics as though harassed by a sadistic, robotic drill sergeant.  It also contains a lot of geeky humor, but sometimes she yells at me and calls me “meat bag”.  I try not to let it hurt my feelings.  If you, like me, exercise more enthusiastically with the help of humiliation via automaton, try it out for yourself.
Writing will be my primary focus.  I have several projects I want to address, and I hope to work on all of them in varying amounts.  The novel outline I’ve been constructing needs to be given priority.  It has stalled now and then, as I stumble over some obstacles to the plot and flow.  I’d like to overhaul it into a format that could be submitted to publishers, along with the first several chapters of the book. If I don’t complete this during my vacation, I would at least like to get a substantial amount done.  I’m looking forward to writing the initial chapters and seeing how the outline helps or hinders the process.
I would like to write at least one piece of content for the Nonlocal Science Fiction website.  Mad Max: Fury Road comes out next Friday, and I originally wanted to take my vacation at that time and write a review of the movie.  Unfortunately my work obligations didn’t allow for this, but I will still likely review the movie.  I’ll have to think of something else to contribute to the website and write it next week.
My second story to be published in Nonlocal Science Fiction will appear in issue three, probably in September if all goes as planned.  The publisher has made some general suggestions for my next draft, and I need to work on it.  His advice makes sense and will add more world building, something I love about writing, so I’m looking forward to it.  He has promised more detailed notes after he gets done preparing issue two for release, which gives me some time to play around with it.
Perhaps most important to me is to have some time to rest and rejuvenate my creative spirit a bit.  I definitely want to spend some time brainstorming and developing new ideas for stories.  I’ve got to increase my body of work, so I can submit more of it and establish my writing cred and web presence.  I decided to curtail my plans for a website until I actually have more content to present in the form of blog entries and free stories to post.  That could take a while at my current rate of creative productivity, but I might enlist some help along the way.  For now, I simply need to bang out some stories, even if I just produce a bunch of horrible first drafts that I can salvage through the power of editing and caffeine.
Lots to do in one week.  It’s the first week of work I can remember eagerly anticipating in a long time, and I can’t wait to fill you in on my progress.  Thanks for reading.  More to come!
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